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Hoax calls worse than real calls

Vishnu Sukumaran, Dec 9, 2012 20:51 IST

Bogus calls made to PCR waste time, energy of overworked force

The central police control room gets over 1.42 crore calls a year, but not all of them are distress calls.

Frivolous calls that have nothing to do with maintenance of law and order, or prevention and detection of crime are the most common, while prank, obscene and abusive calls are also received regularly.

According to a senior police officer, there have been instances when police help has been sought over loud music being played in a residential area, vehicles parked outside houses and water overflowing from a balcony to a house below.

Police believe there are three categories of people who make such calls.
“In the first category are people who seek police help over feeling humiliated for a long time, while the second category is of those who want to prove that they are capable of causing police action over any inconvenience.

The third category is of people who call just for entertainment,” says additional deputy commissioner of police (PCR) Satveer Singh.

Know the difference

But people should know the difference between crime and personal problems, he adds.
Another senior officer says there has been a huge rise in the number of obscene and abusive calls made to the PCR, while prank calls send the entire force and other civic bodies into a tizzy.

A 45-year-old man was arrested in June for making a hoax call under the influence of alcohol. He had threatened to kill UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

“The cellphone number through which the call was made was found switched off when we tried to call back,” says the officer.

Due to the intensity of the threat, police began technical surveillance on the number immediately, which led to the arrest of Sangam Vihar resident Manoj Kumar. He confessed to having made the call, and also admitted that he had made several hoax calls in the past as well.

In another incident, an anonymous call was received in July, claiming that a bomb was planted on the Supreme Court premises. It led to anxious moments with police, bomb disposal and dog squads rushing to the spot, only to find that it was a hoax call.
The callers were booked under sections 182 (false information) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code, and under section 66A of the Information Technology Act.

Police say they track down miscreants making obscene and abusive calls as besides misusing the public facility, such callers create nuisance to police officers, especially women officers.

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